I recently started running again after having a baby in June. Before he was born I began training for a marathon. I was only up to 11 miles on my long runs before I quit running outside as it was getting icy and I didn't want to worry about falling while pregnant. I continued working out all throughout my pregnancy, almost as intensely as I did before I got pregnant.
At 6 weeks postpartum I began working out and running again. Now I'm up to 10 miles on my long runs. I average about 8:15min/mile comfortably. I love running again and have so much energy I feel like I could run all day. However, I've noticed at about mile 9 I begin to feel some discomfort on the outside of my knee. Yesterday, it became pretty painful right before mile 10. I stopped at 10 miles, even though I felt like I had enough energy and endurance to continue all day. After I cooled down my knee felt better. But then my joints, mainly my hips felt were sore for the rest of the day. I work out 5-6 days a week. Out of those days, I run 2-3 days and weight/circuit train the remainder. I usually always workout at a high intensity so my body's use to a beating. And I've been a runner since 7th grade so this isn't anything new to me, although I've never ran more then 11 miles at a time. Is this just my body getting use to the distance or is this joint pain something to be concened about?
I guess what I'm asking is how do you know what's and injury and what's the normal soreness from training? My muscles felt good, it was my joints that were uncomfortable. I'm the the the type of person that will push through pain, especially bc finishing a marathon is so important to me. But I don't want to make anything worse. I want to be active all my life and don't want to do something now that will sideline me in the long run. I find a huge stress relief in my long runs and don't want to give them up.
Something always hurts when you run a long distance. The way I differentiate is if it just hurts, is sore, etc. ... I keep running. Something else will likely be hurting by the end of the run. If it is a sharp pain or the pain won't go away and continues to increase in its intensity ... I stop, as that indicates a real problem.
The combination of hurting on the outside of the knee during the run, and later your hip hurting (also on the outside) leads me to guess that your IT band is tight. It crosses both joints and can rub on them.
Using a foam roller is one of the best ways to alleviate the problem. Look up "iliotibial band," so you know where it is and what it does. There are lots of youtube videos on the use of foam rollers for massage and myofascial release.
Thanks guys! I think you have hit the nail on the head! I looked up the location of the IT band and that's exactly where it hurts at the knee and hip area. I gotta be honest, I'm not the best at stretching before or after running so that can only be making the situation worse. I will definitely try the foam roller and stretching you've suggested. Thank you so much!